This weather is why so many people come to Sanibel & Captiva at this time of year!!!

A typical February brings a number of cold fronts, which drive down water temperatures. That “Cold Water” can often make the fishing on Sanibel & Captiva more challenging as fish cope with temperature changes. Not this February. This February has been anything but typical. It had been unseasonably warm and so has the water. What normally is a “winter style” of fishing because of the cold water and cold fronts has turned into more of an Spring bite.

I’m not complaining! The weather and the fishing is GOOD!!!!!

Black Drum

My Son, Capt. Shane Kelly with a big black drum caught cruising the beaches of Sanibel.

The warm water has brought in lots of bait. Lots of bait means a bunch of fish that want to eat it! The Spanish Mackerel are already all over the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva. Inshore, We’ve seen plenty of nice sized Gator (Speckled) Trout, Ladyfish and Spanish have been on the grass flats of Pine Island Sound. Redfish, Snook and many other species of inshore fish been very consistent as well. All in all, Fishing is pretty good, and the weather – well it’s been pretty awesome!

If your looking for bait check the beaches. Diving birds like Brown pelicans, Turns and sea gulls are a great indicator that there is bait. I like to use a ten foot 1/4 inch cast net to avoid gilling smaller baits . (Nothing is more aggravating than getting hundreds of baits stuck in your net like a Christmas tree.) Right now, having the ability to catch and hold lots of bait is key to catching fish .

If live bait fishing isn’t your thing, there are many artificial baits you can use that will produce fish for you. Jigs are proven to work time and time again. I generally use 1/4 once jig head with either a Berkeley Gulp or a Gotcha curly tail. Jigs are always a great search bait and allow you to cover a lot of ground. Throw em!


With fishing being this good, we’ve been busy!!! So if you looking to get on the schedule, don’t wait. And just as a reminder, Tarpon Season is quickly approaching! If you’re thinking about booking a tarpon, now is the time. March is already looking a bit crazy! Book your Tarpon Trips Now!

Till next time keep your rods bent and the drag screaming. Hope to see you all again soon!